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expert reaction to Rothamsted omega-3 Camelina given field trial permission by Defra

Rothamsted Research has been granted permission by Defra to carry out a field trial to test whether seeds of GM Camelina plants are able to make significant quantities of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids under field conditions.

 

Prof Cathie Martin, Group Leader at the John Innes Centre, said:

“Modern diets contain low levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and high levels of omega 6 PUFAs.  Higher omega-3 levels are strongly associated with health and protection from a range of chronic diseases including cardiovascular diseases, cancers and neurodegenerative diseases.

“Crops that produce oils high in omega-3 offer a sustainable supply of these health beneficial products for the first time.  A second-generation GM crop such as Camelina has the potential to increase omega 3 in our diets, which could help prevent some of the most serious chronic diseases.  I welcome the decision to trial these crops, as it’s the only way to see if they can really deliver.”

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